By Latrishka Thomas
A 10-year prison sentence was yesterday slapped on Everton Pinnock, who last month was convicted on three drug-related offences relating to a bust at Deep Water Harbour.
In July 2020, Pinnock, who was 55 at the time, and Patrick Burrell, who was 49, were jointly charged with possession of 59.75 pounds of cannabis, drug trafficking and importation of cannabis.
The controlled substance was found in vacuum-sealed packages hidden inside television boxes which were in a container addressed to Burrell.
Jamaican national Pinnock was working for and living with Burrell at the time of the offence.
However, the charges against Burrell were subsequently dropped due to a lack of evidence against him.
But Pinnock’s matter made it all the way to the High Court where he stood trial before Justice Stanley John.
In his testimony, the now 56-year-old claimed that the drugs were sent to him in a barrel by his nephew, but he was not informed until “it was already on its way”.
At some point he introduced Burrell to his sister who lives in the United States and she began sending items to him.
Pinnock claimed that on one of the occasions his nephew called him and told him he had sent some weed in a barrel and it was in transit.
His police statement also indicated that he had spoken to his nephew in an earlier conversation and told him that he knew someone from whom he sourced weed.
The accused’s lawyer Wendel Robinson’s main argument in closing was that Pinnock did not arrange for the drugs to be sent, but was told about the dispatch after the fact.
The prosecution rebutted saying that the very fact that Pinnock admitted that the drugs belonged to him and were sent to him is enough to convict.
Justice John agreed that there was enough evidence to convict the father-of-seven, and whether or not he was told of the drugs after they were already sent was of no consequence.
Yesterday, in delivering his sentence, the judge said, “As I mulled over the facts of this case on more than one occasion, it is clear that you embarked upon a plan with the aid of your relative in the US to import a large quantity of cannabis into Antigua.”
Justice John went on to say that Pinnock bit the hand (Burrell’s) that fed him.
He then began to deliver his sentence with the charge of possession of the controlled drug which carries a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment.
He however used six years as his starting point and went down to four years and six months upon considering the convict’s previous good character.
For importing the drugs, the adjudicator’s starting point was eight years out of a possible 10-year sentence, and five years and six months was his final decision in relation to that charge having considered the aforementioned factor.
As it relates to drug trafficking, Pinnock was sentenced to 10 years behind bars and was also fined $50,000 which will result in an additional 15 months being added if he fails to pay the fine. Drug trafficking carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The sentences will run concurrently and the time that he has already spent at Her Majesty’s Prison will be deducted.